ARC Review: Yours To Keep by Shannon Stacey

Format: E-bookYourstokeep
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Kowalski Family, Book 3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Sean Michael Kowalski
Heroine: Emma Shaw
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 6, 2011
Started On: May 28, 2011
Finished On: May 28, 2011

Yours to Keep is the 3rd book in the Kowalski Family series by the very talented Shannon Stacey. Though this is my very first book by Ms. Stacey, I had no trouble identifying with the fact that she can deliver a fantastic romance, and this one definitely makes it into the list of my favorite reads for 2011. This book is going to follow the I-Review format which I introduced earlier and would follow a question and answer format which will hopefully do justice to the wonderful romance this delivered – in spades.

You: What made you pick up Yours to Keep?

MBR: I have always heard good things about Shannon Stacey though I have never had the opportunity to try out her work prior to this. You can always blame it on the hundreds of new books that find their way into my TBR pile (sneaky things these books). And this time when I found Yours to Keep up for grabs on Netgalley I didn’t hesitate to procure a copy and here I am grinning from ear to ear and nearly purring in complete satisfaction at the end. And of course, fellow blogger Pearl’s fantastic 5-star rating of the book helped things along as well.

You: Tell us a little bit about the hero Sean Kowalski.

MBR: Sean Michael Kowalski finally returns home for good after having served the army for the past 12 years. With blue eyes and a smile that can do serious damage to a woman’s insides, the one thing that Sean wants is to have the freedom for the first time in his life to do whatever he wants before even contemplating about settling down.

You: Now tell us a little bit about the heroine Emma Shaw.

MBR: The owner of Landscaping by Emma, Emma Shaw is an only child who was brought up her grandmother Catherine Shaw after the death of her parents at the age of 4. Emma has her roots tied down in New Hampshire, owns a business doing something that she loves and her only discontentment arises from the fact that her grandmother who finally managed to move to Florida still keeps on worrying about Emma. Whilst Emma doesn’t see the harm in conjuring up an imaginary live in boyfriend to keep her grandmother placated, what she doesn’t realize is the fact that it is indeed a tangled web one weaves when they intend to deceive.

You: How does Sean and Emma meet for the first time?

MBR: Sean and Emma’s first meeting is a memorable one in the story. Sean has just arrived at his cousin Kevin’s place where he would be crashing for the duration of his stay when Emma turns up on his doorstep claiming that she is his fiancée and tries enlisting his help in playing make-believe engaged couple with her for the duration of her grandmother’s upcoming visit. Though Sean thinks Emma to be tall, hot and batshit crazy in that very order, that doesn’t stop him wanting to say yes to Emma’s offer or prevent his body from hungering for hers in the worst way possible.

You: What was it that drew you into the story with Yours to Keep?

MBR: Even though I have never sampled Shannon Stacey’s work prior to this, I totally fell for her style of writing which drew me in right from the very beginning. I loved the concept of the story which was one of the reasons that had me saying Yes to Yours to Keep in the first place and it is the way that Ms. Stacey pulls the right emotions from the reader at every turn that had me reading this in one sitting, something that rarely happens these days.

You: What was it that you liked about Yours to Keep?

MBR: I am someone who ALWAYS loves a good contemporary romance. Throw in a hotter than sin ex-military hero whose vocabulary at the moment does not have any room for the word permanence in it, and a heroine who is his match in every way possible; call me fickle but I love the way two people who aren’t looking for love find it in the last place they are looking for.

I loved a lot of things about this delectable contemporary starting from Sean who is definitely hot enough to melt any woman to a puddle of goo in mere seconds. His whole character starting from his sinfully good looks to the way he tries so hard to keep his desire in check where Emma is concerned made him a hero I enjoyed in every way possible.

And then there is Emma, who has her heart set in the right place but doesn’t know what hits her when her “fake” fiancée turns out to be the real thing. Emma is loyal and intense to Sean’s laid-back attitude and the way that she is unafraid to grab whatever it is that is simmering between her and Sean made me root for her even more!

I loved all the side characters, some of whose stories of happily ever afters have already been told, lending Yours to Keep that extra edge which was why in the end it ended up in my list of favorite reads for 2011.

The sexual tension between Emma and Sean was sizzling hot at all times, the combustive culmination of their surrender that much more sweeter because of the fact. And I absolutely fell in love with Sean the moment he started leaving little bits of notes for Emma all around the house and the final scenes in the story just made me want to bawl my eyes out – with happy tears.

You: What if anything would you want to change in Yours to Keep?

MBR: For me, Yours to Keep is just damn perfect as it is!

You: Who would you recommend Yours to Keep to?

MBR: Fans of the Kowalski series should definitely read this one. Its a keeper!

And for fans of Shannon Stacey who haven’t yet delved into the Kowalski world, you definitely ought to, even if it is with this one. Yes, it is that good!

And for fans of contemporary romances, this one should definitely end up on your pile of books that MUST be read!

You: Any memorable scenes/quotes from Yours to Keep that you would like to share?

MBR: I loved the notes that Sean kept leaving for Emma to find. One of my favorites comes from the list he gives her during the final moments in the story:

You don’t take any crap from me.
You make me laugh.
Missionary is my favorite position now because I can see your face.




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